[Trigger warning for rape]
Don’t do anything to get yourself pulled over.
No, seriously, that’s it.
The state of Oklahoma has become a great destination for being sexually assaulted by a law enforcement officer in the past few months. In August, an Oklahoma City police officer was charged with raping or sexually abusing six women. Some of the women were stopped while out walking; in one case, the victims says he broke into her home, kicked out her boyfriend, and forced her to perform sexual acts. He’s been charged with first-degree rape, sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy, indecent exposure, first-degree burglary, and stalking.
This month, an Oklahoma state trooper was arrested for raping a woman during a traffic stop. He reportedly pulled her over, ordered her into his car, drove her to a secluded spot to rape her, then drove her back to her car. Two other potential victims and three other questionable traffic stops have been revealed by investigation. Complaints against him include second-degree rape, rape by instrumentation, kidnapping, and sexual battery.
Also this month, a Tulsa County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested for sexually assaulting at least five women. Some of the assaults happened during traffic stops, others when he responded to a call at the women’s home. At least one of the assaults took place in the deputy’s patrol car. He’s being held on complaints of sexual assault and battery and indecent exposure.
In the wake of these incidents, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. George Brown has spoken with the news media, offering information and helpful tips about interacting with law enforcement. He advises viewers that troopers will always be in uniform and in marked cars, and that women are free to keep their door locked and just crack their window when talking with a trooper. (Video at the link; Helpful Tips from George start at 2:28.)
ANCHOR. Now, if you’re ever worried about interacting with law enforcement, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Captain George Brown with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol says when it comes to troopers, they will always be in uniform and in marked cars. If you’re pulled over, he says it’s okay to keep your door locked and crack your window to talk to the trooper or officer. Captain Brown also says it’s rare that a trooper would ask a woman to come back to his patrol car.
And the captain says anything that happens inside a trooper’s car is videotaped, and he says that supervisors do review those tapes. He says the best tip he can give is to follow the law in the first place so you don’t get pulled over.
So there’s your anti-rape-by-cop-in-Oklahoma tip: Don’t speed. Or drive without a seatbelt. Or drive with a taillight you don’t know is out. Or get targeted by a state trooper who is pulling you over for no other reason than to rape you.
Only you can prevent state trooper rape.
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